I founded the Carnival of MS Bloggers in 2007 to connect the growing MS Blogging Community. My vision was to become the central hub where bloggers could find each other and to feature a collection of independent patient voices.

As larger MS organizations have also begun to feature patient voices on their own websites in recent years, the Carnival of MS Bloggers is no longer the single driving force in serving this wonderful community. For that we should all be grateful.

Thank you for continuing to support me in this one-person labor of love over the years. As of now, I will be taking a break from hosting the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

Please feel free to continue to email me to alert me to new MS blogs to add to the comprehensive MS Blogging Community index.

Lisa Emrich

MS Bloggers A-D

MS Bloggers E-L

MS Bloggers M

MS Bloggers N-S

MS Bloggers T-Z

MS Caregivers and Loved Ones


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Carnival of MS Bloggers #4 - Valentine's Special

Welcome to the Carnival of MS Bloggers, a bi-weekly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis.

Today is Valentine's Day -

A day of flowers and hearts,

chocolate and cupids,

gushy proclamations and

tender whispers of devotion.

In other words -

A Day of Love. Love for your sweetie and love of yourself.

So what's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of romance?

Really? Are you sure?

See, I thought you'd say sex. Hmmm. I'm usually a pretty good mindreader.

In honor of Valentine's Day, Shauna starts off the week discussing a couple of sensitive subjects - Penis, Vagina, and Breasts - in addition to SEX. But what does a discussion of sex and sensations have to do with MS?

"One of the first sensations we have as babies, is the sensation of touch. In fact, the earliest sense to develop in the fetus is the sense of touch. Human babies, and other primates have been observed to have enormous difficulty surviving if they do not have this sense. As well, if babies are not touched and held, they have developmental difficulties.Touch is the most basic part of a sexual relationship. We don't usually just jump into sex without some other physical contact. Touching, exploring, caressing; these are all part of an introduction to sex.

But what if touch hurts you?
For more, you simply must go read Shauna's post. It may not be pornographic, but it is certainly titillating. (Side note: Shauna claims that discussing sex is a sure-fire to increase blog traffic. I guess we'll see if she's on to something.)

Sex isn't the only subject appropriate for Valentine's - the love of friends and family is often irreplaceable.

Diagnosed the week before Thanksgiving in 2007, Daniel discovered just how "one man's struggle became a rallying point for dozens of others."

"I knew I had to tell people, but I didn't know how to do it. How do you tell people that you have known for your entire life that you have a life-long illness with such a stigma attached to it? How will they react?"

"My friends and family demonstrated shock, fear, sadness, love, perseverance, compassion, disbelief and just about any other feeling that one can experience upon hearing such news."

"One of the most difficult times in my life was met with so much love and an outpouring of emotion that it was incredibly overwhelming."

Daniel chose to tell others about his MS early on and received wonderful emotional support from friends and family. But how do you decide to share your diagnosis with others?

There comes a time when each person contemplates the big questions - "Who do you tell, when do you tell, why do you tell others you have MS?" - as discussed recently by Lisa.

A common symptom of MS which the books don't often discuss is GUILT. What do you do when faced with "MS and Broken Vows" as Mandy shares.

I vowed once again that it wouldn’t happen. Once again I broke those vows.

I vowed NOT to feel guilt at having MS, or for relapsing.

I vowed NOT to apologize to my husband for my MS.

I vowed NOT to speak of MS every day.

Five years into MS and I still cannot keep those vows.

A loving message for Valentine's Day from Mandy to her husband Jake.
More at MSMaze...

Multiple sclerosis becomes a lifelong companion - one which is always there for you even after you've both lost touch. But can we really ever forget about MS?

Searching for a solution to nighttime bladder problems, Kim may have found a practical solution - ear plugs. Curious? read more...

On this Valentine's Day when your partner snuggles up close and wants to know more about how you feel, or what exactly MS feels like, start with the question - can you imagine? Here's one of Joan's excellent examples.
"Have you ever had your leg fall asleep? Then you are familiar with that 'pins and needles' feeling. It usually passes once circulation is restored to the leg. Now imagine having that 'pins and needles' feeling in both legs constantly."

Continuing the sharing theme, Callie shares her list of annoying MS damages. Why an itemized list you ask? Just because she felt like it. Maybe you will see a part of yourself in her descriptions and know that you are not alone in this journey.

Choosing to view multiple sclerosis and his life experiences - no matter how devastating - as a gift, Chris discusses differences between a vocation and an occupation. Chris is the author of "Life Interrupted-It’s Not All About Me."

"By sharing my actual experiences with chronic illness and divorce I hope to provide others with the knowledge, awareness and understanding intended to help them avoid making the same relationship-destroying mistakes that I did by dealing more positively with the emotional and physical stresses put on a relationship when life is interrupted by chronic illness or disability."

Finally, in response to our recent discussions of love, depression, and loneliness, one reader shares valuable advice on choosing a Therapy Doc, or is that Dodo Bird? Thanks Doc.

The next Carnival of MS Bloggers will be hosted here on February 28, 2008. Please remember to submit a post (via email) from your blog of which you are particularly proud, or which you simply want to share, by noon on Tuesday, February 26, 2008.

Thank you.
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